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The Believer's Confidence in a Faithful God and the needless triumph of his enemies

The Believer's Confidence in a Faithful God
and the needless triumph of his enemies
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Author: Church John
Title: The Believer's Confidence in a Faithful God and the needless triumph of his enemies
Release Date: 2018-12-26
Type book: Text
Copyright Status: Public domain in the USA.
Date added: 27 March 2019
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The Project Gutenberg eBook, The Believer's Confidence in a Faithful God,by John ChurchThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and mostother parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms ofthe Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org.  If you are not located in the United States, you'll haveto check the laws of the country where you are located before using this ebook.Title: The Believer's Confidence in a Faithful God       and the needless triumph of his enemiesAuthor: John ChurchRelease Date: December 26, 2018  [eBook #58547]Language: EnglishCharacter set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII)***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE BELIEVER'S CONFIDENCE IN AFAITHFUL GOD***

Transcribed from the 1817 R. Thomas edition by David Price,email [email protected]

Public domain book cover

THE
Believer’s Confidence
IN A
FAITHFUL GOD,

AND THENEEDLESS
Triumph of his Enemies
CONSIDERED,

IN

A SERMON,

Preached onLORD’s DAY MORNING, November 23, 1817.
AT SEVEN O’CLOCK,

At the SurreyTabernacle,

BOROUGHROAD,

BY JOHN CHURCH,

ON HISTAKING LEAVE.

 

THOUGH I WALK IN THE MIDSTOF TROUBLE THOU WILT REVIVE ME;
THOU SHALT STRETCH FORTH THINE HAND UPONTHE WRATH OF MINE
ENEMIES, AND THY RIGHT HAND SHALL SAVEME.—Psalm cxxxviii, 7.

 

Southwark:
Printed by R. THOMAS, Red Lion Street, BOROUGH.

1817.

 

p. 3ASERMON, &c.

Micah viii,6th.—“Rejoice not againstme, o mine enemy; when I fall, I shallarise; and when I sit indarkness, the Lord shall be a lightunto me.”

MY DEAR FRIENDS,

I am come this morning to perform one of the most painfultasks that ever fell to my lot.  I am come to take farewellof those who are dear to God, dear to angels, dear to each other,and dear to my heart upon the most noble principles.  ThoughI trust it is but a temporary farewell in general, yet to many itwill be perhaps a long farewell, even till we meet in glory,where parting shall be known no more for ever; and to others wholive and die enemies to the dear and adorable Saviour—tohypocrites in Zion, to formalists and pharisees, dying such, Isay it is an eternal farewell.  We shall meet no moreperhaps on praying ground—but be it known unto you, mytestimony p.4for God and truth you have heard many times, will neverbe out of your consciences, either in heaven or hell; it will befor or against you, either a savour of life unto life, or ofdeath unto death.  And now behold, many among whom I havepreached the gospel will see my face no more—painfulthought! but I bow to the solemn, awful, just, and I may add, Iam sure, merciful dispensation; fully persuaded it is my duty,nay, more, it is my salvation, to bow to the will of the greathead of the church.  Nature shrinks, but faith looks forwardto the grand end which my heavenly father has in view—andbeing already assured by his word, and by his spirit, that Ishall be favoured with his manifestative presence, I prefersubmitting to the mind of infinite wisdom, to any other planwhich nature, friends, and present interest may suggest.  Myheart sinks, my spirit fails, my mind is distressed, when I takethe painful retrospect, accompanied with the grief of my friends,the troubles of my family, and my own situation; and what is mostmortifying, the triumph of the envious, the joy of the enemies ofthe cross; the pleasure of Satan, and the satisfaction of hisemissaries; these things all meet in my mind, and perplex me nota little; but perhaps the grief of the former may be butcomparatively for a moment, and the joy of fools is compared tothe crackling of thorns under a pot, which make a noise and ablaze, but soon will expire, for so the word of God assures p. 5us.  Andthen, what have my enemies effected?  What advantage havethey gained?  Are they any the better?  Will theircruelty add to their felicity on a dying bed?  Some perhapsmay suppose they have done God service; others have not God inall their thoughts; while others, who ought to act better,because they profess better things, join with worldlings,pharisees, and formalists, against a man they know nothing of,but by hear-say.  While erroneous characters of everydescription hate me for the truth’s sake alone, and rejoiceif they can find any fault as a ground of persecution; and if notin reality, an evil report is quite enough for them, that theymight have cause to oppose the truth, as it is in Jesus. But perhaps before many years roll along, they may hear that Johnthe Baptist is risen from the dead; that Sampson’s locksare grown again, and when he comes forth, they may yet hope tomake sport with him.  But perhaps the Lord may takevengeance on them, and enable his servant to be avenged on Satanand sin for the loss he has sustained; and by fervent prayer,faithful preaching, and a holy life, he may take hold on the mainpillars of the Devil’s kingdom, ignorance of God andan empty profession, and make them tremble; while thepower of the Holy Spirit may bring them down, through his feebleinstrumentality, at least, in the hearts of some.  Itherefore humbly presume to adopt the language of the church ofold, as personated by the Prophet in my Text, as beforerecited.

p. 6My dearhearers may perhaps recollect I have often referred them undertheir various exercises to this very important chapter.  Theprophet predicts the state of the church in gospel days; and ourdear Lord, no doubt, had his mind on this chapter, when heforewarned the disciples what they would experience, even fromtheir nearest and dearest relatives, for the truth’s sake;that no earthly ties would subdue or remove the carnal enmity ofthe human heart—that the father and mother would betraytheir dear children, and children would rise up against theirparents, in consequence of their adherence to the truth; whichwas the case may times during the heat of persecution, and tothis hour, where sovereign grace has been manifested in a family,where one has been taken and another left, there has been a mostawful opposition, which may be seen in many lamentablecircumstances—Mat. 10th chapter.  PerhapsSolomon alludes to this when he says, For three things theearth is disquieted, and for four which it cannotbear.—Prov. 30th.

The conquests of grace have ever disturbed the earth, andthose who have preached all the words of this life arerepresented as having turned the world upside down, and as thetroublers of Israel; while the gospel in its power has causedthose who were servants to sin to lay down the arms of theirrebellion, and God has set up a kingdom in their p. 7hearts whichshall never be destroyed, and made them kings and priests untoGod.  But the prophet, no doubt, in this chapter, may alludeto the state of the Jewish church, before and in her captivity,this I apprehend is the primary sense of the chapter.  Helaments the fewness of those who were valiant for thetruth.  Then represents the sins of the great, and of thosein office, both in church and state.  The decay of truegodliness was his grief, accompanied with many heart-breakingsights of the treachery of those who were in a profession, withthe weakness of the children of God themselves; The best ofthem is a briar, the most upright is sharper than a thornhedge.  Trust ye not, therefore, in a friend; put noconfidence in a guide!  Keep the doors of thy mouth fromher that lieth in thy bosom—that is, even from thesaints themselves, knowing the best of men are but men at thebest: and well may one of our own Poets exclaim—

Lean not to earth, ’twill piercethee to the heart:
A broken reed at best, but oft a spear!
On its sharp point peace bleeds and hope expires!

The prophet’s mind is turned to the true centre of solidjoy and peace, amidst all the trials heexperienced—therefore will I look to the Lord; Iwill wait for the God of my salvation, with this sweetconfidence, my God will hear me.  My enemies then need notrejoice; for as I have God in p. 8covenant to be my God—and ofthis I am confident, from his word, and by the many tokens of hislove; therefore though I fall into trouble, and remain in thedarkness of my captivity a long time, yet I am fully assured Ishall be delivered in God’s time and way; and till thatperiod arrives, the Lord Jesus will be my light, my love, myportion, and my joy.  Persuaded of this, I will bear in hisstrength, the fatherly indignation of the Lord, manifested in hisprovidences, because I have sinned against him, until he plead mycause, appear for my help, and as my glorious deliverer, inbringing me forth to the enjoyment of his favour, and to sweetpeace, through the imputed righteousness of the dear Redeemer,which I shall behold as my own, and which will cause me to adorehis righteous proceedings with me; and when I am humbled anddelivered, then she that is mine enemy will see it, and shameshall cover her that said, Where is the Lord thy God?  Sheshall see it in this and a coming world.  Rejoicenot, therefore, O mine enemy; when I fall, Ishall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shallbe a light unto me.

This subject is truly interesting, and exactly suitable to thestate of an afflicted Church, or an individual Believer; and itis the general privilege of all the children of the most high, ifit suits them, for the Scriptures are designed to furnish thechildren of God unto every good word and work; to furnish p. 9them withmatter for faith, hope, prayer, humiliation, and encouragement inGod.  This is the design of every precious doctrine andpromise, which at once opens to our wondering view, the veryheart of the God of all grace; the glorious person of God ourSaviour; his covenant transactions with the Father, his actingfor and on the behalf of his Church, his wonderful incarnation,his meritorious holy life of obedience, his sufferings and death,whereby he removed the guilt of his dear people; his sacredburial, his most triumphant resurrection from the dead, hisglorious ascension, his appearing in heaven as the advocate ofhis people, and as their ever prevalent intercessor.  Thisis the glorious foundation, hope, and comfort of those whosehearts are under the influences of his Spirit, who are drivenfrom every other refuge, and are enabled to believe to thepresent salvation of the Soul.  This faith, which is thework of God on the hearts of his people, evidences their electionof God, their complete redemption from the ruins of the fall, andthat the work is genuine; it is the earnest God has given them,and all their present peace and joy is according to the strengthor weakness of this grace.  This makes Christ precious, theWord sweet, and the Saints dear.  This creates in theirhearts a most earnest desire to live to the glory ofGod—this renders them the butt of the Devil’s malice,the hypocrite’s envy, and the world’s scorn. These, in connexion with the old Man of Sin, which the Believerdaily groans p.10under, renders his road very rough; often exposes him tothe deepest trouble and heart-felt grief.  His own dailyinfirmities, his own constitutional sin, creates him muchwretchedness, and the enemies of the Cross are daily watching forhis halting, longing for his fall, envying his comforts, andcontriving his overthrow.  But though he is safe in theunchangeable love of God, as it respects his soul, yet he isstill exposed to the malice of man, the temptations of Satan, andthe shafts of calumny.  If a fault can be justly found, Oh!the triumphs of the Philistines!  And if not, perhaps theywill try to make one, that they may bring the cause of Christinto contempt.  The combined enemies of God are the samecombined foes of the people of God, for, as by virtue of theunion subsisting between the Lord Jesus and

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